This is the last post in the “Secrets to Google Places Success” series created by Robin Buckley. Come take a look at how you should go about finally creating your Google Places page!
Google Places is an extraordinary addition to the Google search experience. Google Places helps searchers easily locate local solutions to what they are searching for. It is even more extraordinary for the local business owner who is offering products or services to people within the community.
Google has the power to decide which websites get first page placement, and they are placing Google Places 1st.
We all know that the websites that appear on the first page are the ones that get viewed the most, so what do you think this kind of exposure can do for your business?
In previous posts we have discussed the 3 pillars to a successful Google Places page. In this post, I will give you an overview of what you will need to accomplish when filling out your Google Places page.
The first step is to claim your Google Places page. You can do that by going to http://www.google.com/places/ . You will be asked to enter the business phone number, and that should bring up your business. From there, you can claim your page.
The best thing to do is to have a gmail account specifically for the business and enter Google Places with that account already logged in.
In the admin area of Google Places, there are quite a few sections to fill out. Your goal should be to fill out every section as complete as possible. The more sections that are filled out, then the better optimized your Google Places will be.
It will be important to have identified the best keywords for the business. These keywords will be used throughout the entire process.
You will be asked what your business category is and Google will allow you five categories. When you begin to enter your categories, Google will offer a dropdown of their suggestion. You will have to take one of their suggestions for the first category but after that, the next four can be whatever you select.
You will want to use your keywords as categories to be a good match. Be careful not to use any reference to your geographical location, this section is just for describing the business and not it’s location. Example: wedding planner, auto repair, etc.
You will also be given a place to describe the business. Google allows only 200 characters for this so choose your words wisely and be sure to include one or two of your main keyword phrases. The description area is a good place to go ahead and also use the name of the city or town to were the business is located.
When it comes to the hours of operation, you want to make sure you fill this potion out even if you do not have specific hours. I have seen business listings do everything else right, but they cannot rank on the first page because they left this blank.
Google Places has given you the opportunity to include up to ten photos. The more photos you load into a Google Places page the more you have optimized it. Be sure to tag your photos. You will want to use your keyword to tag these photos. You can not only tag them with your keywords but by taking your photos into photo sharing sites like Flickr or PhotoBucket, you can also Geo tag them to enhance the optimization of your location. Remember, Google Places is about local search and the more opportunity you give Google to see your location, the better.
The Google Places also allows for videos. This is where you can really get an edge on the competition. Specifically because most people just do not want to make videos. However Google values videos because searchers like them. Videos do take a little bit of time but just about everybody has access to a video camera whether it is on your phone or just the webcam on your computer.
The videos do not need to be long and drawn out, in fact, the shorter the better, just some quick videos to offer just a bit more information about the business. Frequently asked questions work well and so does the explanation of a product or even a tour of your shop. Your videos must get uploaded to YouTube as that is the only place Google will accept videos from.
Once Google has verified the Places page, you will now be able to add offers or coupons. This is yet another section that will add points to your optimization. Google places allow you to also create a coupon that is formatted for mobile devices. Be sure to use your keywords when describing your offer.
You can give your offer an expiration date but be sure that you log this information so that you can go in and update with a new offers. This is also a great way to attract the attention of customers and potential customers.
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